Why Fulham are called 'Fulhamerica' & the USMNT stars who have played for the Cottagers
In the summer of 1997, Fulham was bought by an Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed. The Cottagers were languishing in the third division but their new owner promised that the club would ply their trade in the Premier League in the next five years despite no outlandish spending.
They started to rebuild themselves and turned their sights to the United States to scout cheap yet quality talent. In 1999, when they were promoted to the second division, it saw the arrival of Marcus Hahnemann from Colorado Rapids for just £80,000. And thus began the saga of Fulham and the United States of America...
Why are Fulham called "Fulhamerica'?
Although Hahnemann failed to find his feet at Craven Cottage, the club continued to monitor the American talent pool for recruitment. Eddie Lewis joined in 2000, who again turned out to be a disappointment as he could not prove his mettle in west London, making just 22 appearances, and his highlight was a winning goal against Derby County in the League Cup.
Nonetheless, the club kept their trust in American players and signed Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride in the winter transfer window of 2003-04. In no time, both of them became fan favourites for their commitment to the badge which initiated a golden era of "Fulhamerica'.
A couple of years later in 2006, Clint Dempsey, was roped in from New England Revolution for a whopping £2m. This made the most expensive American player to play in the Premier League. And with Dempsey's success, several others followed suit like Kasey Keller and Eddie Johnson.
Fulham not only had ample representatives of the United States in the dressing room but in 2013, an American businessman of Pakistani origin, Shahid Khan, purchased the club from Al Fayed. Khan, 72, continues to be the chairman of the club but his son, Tony Khan, is at the wheel as the Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations.
Over the years, a total of 11 USMNT players have gone on to play for Fulham including Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson from the current squad.
GOAL takes a look at the most notable USMNT players who have adorned the Fulham shirt.